After a senior leader resigned from his position, saying “nothing tangible” happens in student government, the University of Wisconsin’s senior class officers unveiled plans to continue Varsity Day despite the move to a single-commencement ceremony.
Chief Justice Nick Checker announced his resignation from the Student Judiciary, citing his frustration with the direction the Associated Students of Madison was taking.
“There’s nothing tangible that’s happening through ASM,” Checker said. “Students don’t know what [ASM] stand for or what you actually do. You should pick things that students can point to and say, ‘that is great that’s what my student government did for me.’”
Rep. David Vines said ASM was created for students to manage student fees. ASM was established after students demanded that it be put in place, Vines said.
The purpose of Varsity Day is to give students the opportunity to take charge of who is speaking at UW, Senior Class Secretary Sarah Neibart said. Varsity Day adds to the Wisconsin Experience by allowing students the opportunity to interact with a high profile speaker, Neibart said.
“The speaker at Varsity Day almost always stays and interacts with the students,” Neibart said. “It’s not like the speaker comes, speaks and leaves, but the speaker often stays and chats and interacts with the students in attendance.”
ASM has allocated a budget of $60,000 for Varsity Day.
The majority of the budget is used to pay the speaker, Senior Class President Joe Meeker said. Any surplus will be used in a responsible manner, he said.
The senior class officers also said the focus will remain on the single commencement ceremony at Camp Randall.
Varsity Day is an opportunity for all students at the UW to attend together as opposed to commencement which is often done separately, Meeker said.
Commencement is a service that celebrates the graduating seniors and the speaker will then reflect the desires of the graduating senior class, Neibart said.
She added the festivities will take place around May 1 at the Memorial Union Terrace, which has the capacity to cater to 6,000 students.
Neibart said she is confident a single university can recruit two different high profile speakers for both commencement and Varsity Day.
The Varsity Day speaker is selected by the Distinguished Lecture Series through the Wisconsin Union and the commencement speaker is selected by the Chancellor’s Office in cooperation with the Division of Student Life and the senior class officers, Neibart said.
ASM voted to move the vote on the Green Fund bylaws to the next Student Council meeting to allow for more time to study the new version. The vote was moved because members felt the point system for choosing organizations was not clearly defined.
The Green Fund bylaws were changed based on criticisms received from the last ASM meeting, Sustainability Chair Will Mulhern said.
Sexual assault prevention and response campaign
A campus-wide survey regarding sexual assault knowledge was sent out Wednesday. According to Rep. Hannah Kinsella, the information gathered from this survey will help ASM work with Protecting Awareness, Victim Empowerment to educate students.